Okay. Realistically it’s going to take more than “five easy steps” to learn how to strum the guitar. But by following this plan (and using these videos), you’ll be well on your way to becoming a solid guitar player.

Step 1: Learn to Tune a Guitar By Ear

Tuning “by ear” simply means that you listen and adjust according to what you hear, instead of using a tuner or app. With this method, you effectively “tune the guitar to itself”. You either get one string in tune from an external reference point, or just decide that one string is close enough. You tune the other strings from this starting point. The end result is that the guitar may be in tune with itself (meaning it sounds “right”), but it may not be in tune with what the larger world considers “in tune” (more on this later).

Step 2: Learn How to Build Your Chord Vocabulary

Studying chords is a process in itself. You can start with a basic understanding that the major chord is built on the first, third and fifth note of the chord’s major scale. The minor is achieve by modifying the major chord with a flatted third. Other chord forms are derived from these chord types and are termed extended or altered chords. Most importantly, the process begins with a basic understanding of the major scale and what notes make up a major chord.

Step 3: Practice Chords by Playing Popular Songs

Whether you are just starting out playing the acoustic or electric guitar, many people have the eventual goal to learn how to play songs… For those beginning guitar players learning by playing popular songs is the easiest route to go.

Step 4: Learn the Chromatic Scale

Learning how to play chromatic scales on guitar is important for a few reasons. First, they are just good guitar technique building exercises. But more important than that, guitar chromatic scales help you understand how the fretboard is organized a little better.

Step 5: Practice, Practice. Everyday

To build up your guitar playing stamina and to retain the muscle memory that you’re working to build, you need to practice somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 minutes a day. As you become more proficient and build callouses on your fingers that’ll make playing more comfortable, you’ll be able to practice more in a day, but in the beginning it’s good to aim for a happy medium.


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